Brian Lenzo has the anniversary party down. I commended him on the layout for the 2014 version and he told me that he keeps learning and I could tell because first and foremost it looked like he was having more fun this year than in the past and that is probably due to having all the moving parts finely tuned.
But it is to be expected from Blue Palms when they throw any party.
Here is what I liked about the running of the fest itself:
A) All the notices leading up to the affair noted how hot the party was going to be since part of it was outside. But Lenzo tweaked where the tents were to make a much better flow and utilized more indoor space as well to give people a respite from the sun.
B) Check in was efficient with mugs and tickets being handed out first so that when the doors opened, people could go right in.
C) Except for one bar location the signage was great. Easy to see what was pouring.
D) Good amount of seating. There can always be more but this was a good amount.
Enough of the inner workings, what about the beer? Two words. Holy Crap! What an amazing list of beers under the super heated Hollywood skies.
My top two of the day came from Anaheim and Noble Ale Works. With their Tongue Tickles IPA (on cask) and the Cinnamon Roast Crunch being my co-Best in Show. The Cinnamon had the benefit of being a variant of the awesome Naughty Sauce and a bright cinnamon aroma. Tongue Tickles benefited from the cask service which added a layer of creaminess that offset the bite of the hops plus the slow transformation from foam to beer was great to watch.
Next on my list was the Mo Hop from Golden Road and the Southern Tier IPA on nitro. There was no shortage of hops at the fest but these two shone the brightest to me. I also have to recommend the fun tropical beers that Monkey Paw brought from San Diego. A coconut IPA and a pineapple IPA. Both were weird but good if too sweet.
If you weren’t there, by all means head there this week for some awesome “leftovers”.
Occasionally, beer events come in pairs and this past couple days was no exception.
Sunday, Ommegang debuted their third installment from the Game of Thrones beer, Fire and Blood. Atop the Fonda and Blue Palms Brewhouse, I sipped the new beer whilst sitting in my rightful place. Well almost. The line for the Iron Throne was longer than the beer line.
The dragon themed red ale is my favorite of the three Game of Thrones offerings very Belgian Lots of esters here. Nice amount of hops as well. Well done. Some grape notes as well. According to the Ommegang folks in attendance the fire and blood is is a combo of spelt and rye and de-seeded ancho chiles.
As usual Brian and his crew had the show running smoothly satisfying beer nerds, Westeros fans and fans of really big turkey kegs.
Then the very next night, I headed into DTLA and Angel City Brewery to sample two of their newer offerings. I have had more beers from this new incarnation of Angel City that fall into the OK category than “Wow!” (and I am one of the few non-fans of the Avocado beer and their French Sip) but on the other hand I do like their pilsner and their Session IPA (which was one of the first I had seen before the 2014 explosion of SIPA’s) so my enthusiasm was both lowered and raised for their new Summer Wheat.
Re-tasting the newly christened Gold Line pilsner, it holds it’s place as a go-to beer for an L.A. summer. Slight minerality/metal note. But crisp with a note of wheat and grain to it. Simple and well done.
The new Summer Wheat is similar in composition but has a slight off note with a bit of citrus to it and a slight but strange tart note to it. The wheat taste isn’t there for me and it has a bitter finish that doesn’t work with the rest of the beer.
The winner of the night is a beer going on tap tonight that I got a sneak preview of. It is the winner of “What Would You Brew” contest. Emily Finch has created a blueprint that brewer Dieter Foerstner has taken to create a really complex beer. It is a Mexican Cola beer. It also has citrus and tamarind and it is flat out good. Certainly in the top 3 AC DC beers. And their will be a rum barrel version coming down the pike later this year.
Blue Palms continues to hatch new plans to get people to keep returning to the venerable Hollywood beer destination, as if the beer wasn’t enough. But one of the most intriguing option is Brian’s Cellar.
You can follow which beer will be making it’s way topside to the bar HERE. Maybe you will see a rare beer that you have to try.
So glad that this yearly tradition gets to continue, they throw a good party in Hollywood. So you should definitely get tickets (if available)…..
Here is the scoop from the Facebook page…“Sunday, August 12, 2012 from 12:00pm until 8:00pm
Open to the public, DD’s get in free! You only need a ticket if you want to drink festival beers outside.
Tickets will be $45 for 12 x 5oz tasters (with more tasters available for purchase at the fest). This also includes a complimentary Blue Palms logo’d glass. Ticket will be available on PayPal starting July 2, 2012
We are working on some snack food items that will be available at the fest as well as some good grillin’! Last year we roasted 2 steams (whole cow legs!) and the year before a whole pig, and we are changing it up a little this year, but keeping the same theme and we will be cooking up something special again!
Blue Palms will be open all day for food orders as well.
The festival will be out doors next door to Blue Palms as well as inside the restaurant. All are welcome to come in and join in the fun, but if you want to drink the festival beers, you need to purchase a wristband. “
The craft beer scene in Los Angeles had an eventful weekend. First, the news that Angel City was now owned by Alchemy and Science and then following that the distressing news that Blue Palms Brewhouse might be forced out of their location through no fault of theirs.
Thankfully, the beer community has rallied to the aid of one of our favorite beer spots and the new landlord has given a three day extension to work things out after seeing the outpouring of support. The hope is that they won’t have to close down and find a new location after building such a loyal clientele in the Hollywood community.
I was there last night because, if it was the last day, I wanted to occupy Blue Palms one more time. I ordered up a Sierra Nevada Beer Camp beer called The Dude. A cherry accented brown ale. Quite nice and fitting since the first Beer Camp beer that I ever had was at this spot. It was good to see a large crowd there including the Steeler fans who were not having a good day.
To stay in a celebratory mood, I cracked open an expensive wish list beer. Almanac 2011 Plum Ale. It was good and lived up to the price and my high expectations. I have now added their Blackberry beer to my wants/needs list.
If you haven’t paid your respects, I strongly suggest heading over on one of these three nights to show the powers that be that a new agreement would be beneficial to everyone.
On Saturday, Blue Palms put brown bags over their taps and for four hours, us lucky attendees, had to guess what beer they had in front of them. Out of 24, I got 0 exact matches which I expected but I picked 9 of the styles correctly. But I had only half of the beers before in my beer drinking life. And some beers like New Belgium’s Metric 10 defy easy categorization.
My favorite beer of the afternoon was the Green Hill Dry Hopped Blonde. It was sparkly and semi-sour at first but then this cloudy yellow beauty faded into a delightful grainy/oaty taste that contrasted with the sourness extremely well. I also heartily enjoyed Josh Jensen’s chamomile home brew. A really unique twist of a beer that was really well balanced. There were some truly distinctive brews. Ladyface Sauv Blanc Saison, Avery 18th Anniversary Rye Saison to name two.
On whole the IPA’s fared poorly in comparison to simpler brews like the Marin Chocolate Porter or Eagle Rock’s Yearling. Primarily because after one tongue scraper the bitterness can be too heavy. And a beer with bold but palate friendly flavors can really refresh.
As usual, Blue Palms has put on a good show. Time just flew by as people discussed what they were tasting and compared notes.